Tragedy = Wake Up Call - Sparkers
Friday, October 07, 2011
I've been seriously committed to my health and weight loss journey for over a year now, and I've had wonderful results. With the unexpected death of my Aunt Karen this week, I've lost sight of my committment, motivation, and focus.
Karen was 61, and not the picture of health by any means. She was overweight, a smoker with COPD, an uncontrolled diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and she had a debilitating mental illness which led her to isolate herself from so many who cared about her.
Near as the doctors can tell, Karen choked on a Frito in her bathroom and was deprived of oxygen too long for her brain to do anything more than allow her heart to beat. On her third day in the hospital, the family made the decision to remove her from life support, and she died peacefully 15 minutes later with her sons, sisters, and me by her side. Saddest thing I've ever seen in my life, watching the life leave her while tears, grief, guilt, and regret filled those who cared about her.
Her death should be a lesson to me, and to all of us. You can't abuse your body and mind like that and live a long HEALTHY life. You just can't. Any of us who think we can are just kidding ourselves.
But, being a main source of support for my cousins, my mother, my grandmother, and my aunt through this last week has taken its toll on me emotionally. My family turned to me as a calming influence and as a main planner in her funeral, which I think is the highest compliment a family can pay you - to trust you to take care of them and the details. But, in being their for them, I've done the opposite of what I need for myself and my health, and I know better than that.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to do anything I can for those I love. Anything they need. And, I'll continue to do anything they need until they are all okay. But I need to find those pesky rascals - Committment, Motivation, and Focus, and start taking better care of myself.
I'm proud of myself that I seem to have completely kicked the emotional eating habit that held my hand while I ate myself to severe morbid obesity. I haven't binged on anything and have maintained my calorie goals through all this. However, I haven't seriously exercised in 4 days, and I haven't gotten more than 6 hours a night of sleep since then either and, as a result of that and the emotional stuff going on, I'm just exhausted.
Well, today is the end of that. I'm getting in 60 minutes of cardio and strength training today no matter what, and tomorrow before Karen's funeral (after which there will be all sorts of fattening food, I'm sure), I'm going to run at least a mile and eat a healthy breakfast so I can resist all the cakes and pies and casseroles later.
I know this blog is morbid, but I'm so glad I have sparkpeople as a place to write it, because it's so cathartic to get these feelings out instead of stuffing them down with a cheeseburger and fries. And, I sincerely appreciate those who will read it and take it to heart.
Please Sparkers, let my Aunt Karen's death be a wake up call to us. We have to take care of ourselves so we'll be around to take care of others, and so our children and parents won't have to sit in a room and prematurely try to decide what color and type of flowers we want at our funerals, and what music we'd want played, and what background image we'd want on our funeral programs, and whether or not they'd want to witness our cremations.
We need to take charge of our health and the health of our relationships, and we need to make ourselves the most important thing in our lives, so we have a better chance at living a happy, healthy, and LONG life, and we need to start now, and never stop. Ever. And we need to pass blogs like this around to those we care about, so they could read how the end of their lives will likely be if they don't.
Please share this blog with your loved ones, for me and my Aunt Karen.